ST. LUCIE COUNTY, FL – Today, Superintendent E. Wayne Gent accompanied by School Board Chairman Debbie Hawley, Board Member Jennifer Richardson, Board Member Jack Kelly, Thom Jones from the Education Foundation, and Dr. Kevin Perry, Assistant to the Superintendent, paid surprise visits to this year’s finalists for Outstanding First Year Teacher (OFYT). Tyler Evans, a Music Teacher at Mariposa Elementary School; Jewel Edwards, a U.S. History Teacher at Creative Arts Academy of St. Lucie; and Alyssa Fairbrother, an English Language Arts and Social Studies Teacher at Rivers Edge Elementary School are the finalists who have the distinction of representing the School District at this year’s Night of the Stars event. Two of the finalists, Tyler Evans and Jewell Edwards, are graduates of St. Lucie Public Schools and were a part of the “A Promise is a Promise” program. The program was established to recognize future educators and provide them with guaranteed employment upon successful completion of a college degree that leads to teacher certification.
“The OFYT finalists represent the best of our talented and committed rookie teachers. Embarking on a teaching career under the most ideal conditions can be a challenge, however, these teachers have taken on this challenge during an unprecedented year and flourished. I appreciate their hard work and dedication to our students,” said Superintendent E. Wayne Gent.
The Outstanding First Year Teacher is a program in St. Lucie Public Schools where first-year teachers are recognized who demonstrate a superior ability to foster excellence in education and contribute to the continuous improvement of student learning and the school environment. One individual will be selected as St. Lucie Public Schools Outstanding First Year Teacher during the Night of the Stars event scheduled for February 6, 2021.
Tyler Evans, Mariposa Elementary School
Even though Mr. Evans is a new teacher, there is no hesitation on his part to jump in and share his ideas with colleagues. His excitement and passion for music make him a standout teacher and a quick favorite among the students at Mariposa. Students love attending his music class because they never know what is in store for them. Whether it is learning a new song or getting to play a unique instrument, the students are always looking forward to their music class with Mr. Evans.
Jewel Edwards, Creative Arts Academy of St. Lucie
When you walk into Ms. Edward’s classroom you can feel the excitement and warmth of Ms. Edward’s teaching style. She may be a first-year teacher; however, her leadership qualities are clearly evident. She is a strong contributor to her Social Studies team and the school as a whole. She not only makes an impact in the classroom, her volunteer work in the community does not go unnoticed. In her spare time, she prepares food bags for the homeless, registers people to vote, and is involved in many community events.
Alyssa Fairbrother, Rivers Edge Elementary School
Mrs. Fairbrother’s classroom is engaging and interactive. She employs a variety of teaching and learning strategies to increase engagement and maintain a positive environment. Through the seamless integration of technology, Mrs. Fairbrother is able to provide learning centers that are both rigorous and challenging but fun ensuring her students are being pushed to reach higher levels of achievement.